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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I started out in the planted tank hobby ~2 years ago with little to no success. The plants I have either eventually die or live with very little growth. I look at the tanks in the stores that have abundant plant growth and I just want to recreate that. (ie plant carpet on bottom of tank). Here is relevant info and I would appreciate it if somebody could tell me where I'm going wrong. Thanks!

-20 gallon tank
-No C02 currently (is C02 necessary for these plants to grow?)
-Fluval Plant light on for ~9 hours per day @100% on every colour spectrum
-Occasional fertilizing
-I had pretty bad algae growth for a while and was only doing very infrequent water changes. I've been cleaning up the algae and have been diligent with water changes last ~6 weeks or so. Algae is subsiding.

Thanks!

On a side note I have been exploring these "Fluval Flora" and "Fluval Flex" aquariums to get a fresh start and design a new aquarium properly (you can see my design above is quite lackluster). Would the Fluval Flex 32 gallon have suffice lighting for a planted tank? Or would I be better off buying customized. Thanks!
 

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Yes, CO2 is likely going to be necessary for carpeting plants. Along with a solid fertilization regimen, good lighting, good flow. Which means you'll possibly need an additional light fixture or something entirely different, CO2 and possibly a different filter setup.

Which specific fixture do you have? That will allow for better understanding of the light level you've got in your tank.

Hair Grass (or is that Lilaeopsis?) like that needs to be separated in 2-3 plantlets per clump and planted in a checkerboard grid. It takes a lot of time and effort - maybe a couple hours to plant a tank that size. Then it needs all the things mentioned above. Each tiny plant group will then spread out slightly and you'll have a "carpet" look.

Anubias should not be planted in the substrate - they're epiphytes, attach them to hardscape and never bury the rhizome or they'll die.

You'll be able to get things under control by finding your balance between lighting, ferts & CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you!


^I believe that is the light I am using and I will attach a photo of the setup below.

Not positive on which type of plant the grass is. I only have one anubias that needs to be planted on the hardscape right? (The plant with large green leaves). I will fix that now.

Thanks for the help much appreciated. Atmosphere Sky Rectangle Slope Font
 

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If you have a standard 20gal tank, you'll have a much shorter fixture than the one you linked above. (Here's a cleaned up link for others to click) Having a shorter fixture, means you'll have less lighting than the one linked.

What's the length of the fixture you have on your tank right now?

Yep, Anubias is the one with the big, green leaves. If you want to keep things simple, you can use some cotton thread to wrap it its roots and rhizome around a small rock to keep it stationary. Super Glue Gel also works but thread is just as easy for a single plant situation like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply.

My fixture is 22 inches long. I played around with my tank a little bit and made some adjustments and listened to some of your advice. Will attach updated photo below. Algae has been diminished slowly and I will add co2 this weekend. Hoping my plants will start to take off. PS don't mind the scratches on the glass. Once I figure out how to get the plants healthy/growing I'm going to invest in a larger/nicer setup.

Was also reading that anubias can't take as much light so I have my light positioned over the front of my tank leaving the back side slightly darker. Hopefully that is suffice
 

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